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Fatty acid synthase expression is strongly related to menopause in early-stage breast cancer patients

Porta, Rut MD, PhD1,2; Blancafort, Adriana2; Casòliva, Gemma3; Casas, Miquel MD4; Dorca, Joan MD1; Buxo, Maria PhD1; Viñas, Gemma MD1,2; Oliveras, Glòria PhD1,2; Puig, Teresa PhD2

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829d17dc
Brief Report

Objective Overexpression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), the enzyme involved in the de novo synthesis of fatty acids, has been reported in several human carcinomas, including breast cancer, and has been related to poor prognosis. Our aim was to analyze the association of FASN tumor tissue expression with clinicopathological and anthropometrical features in early-stage breast cancer patients.

Methods We prospectively studied 53 women with early-stage breast cancer who were treated with surgical operation and postoperative chemotherapy.

Results Menopause status and age were strongly associated with higher levels of FASN tumor expression (P < 0.005 and P = 0.038, respectively). Body mass index and pathological stage were also related to FASN tumor expression.

Conclusions Our findings suggest that FASN could be a potential therapeutic target in postmenopausal breast cancer patients. However, further studies are needed.

From the 1Medical Oncology Department, Catalan Institute of Oncology and Girona Biomedical Research Institute, Girona, Spain; 2Molecular Oncology (NEOMA), Department of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Girona, Girona, Spain; 3Research Institute of Santa Caterina Hospital, Salt, Girona, Spain; and 4Department of Pathology, Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital of Girona, Girona, Spain.

R.P. and A.B. contributed equally to this work.

Funding/support: This work was supported by grants from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (grant FIS PI11/00692 to T.P.) and Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica, and by a predoctoral grant from the University of Girona (to A.B.). This work was also supported by Xarxa de Bancs de Tumors de Catalunya, sponsored by Pla Director d’Oncologia de Catalunya. Instituto de Salud Carlos III had no role in this study.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Rut Porta, MD, PhD, Medical Oncology Department, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Girona, Spain. E-mail:; Teresa Puig, PhD, Molecular Oncology (NEOMA), Department of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Girona, Girona, Spain. E-mail:

Received March 21, 2013; revised and accepted May 22, 2013.

© 2014 by The North American Menopause Society.